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Bmgpx For Macs

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Recently, I asked on the Geocachers of the Bay Area forums whether it would be possible to have a version of BMGPX that would run on Mac OS X, since the source code for BMGPX is freely available. Scott of TeamSimo took my request and ran with it. You can find the results here:

 

http://www.geocities.com/teamsimo@sbcglobal.net/bmgpx.html

 

You run the program from the command line in Terminal.

 

Below is an expanded version of the information on Scott's page about using MacBMGPX. (The information about getting NGS datasheets is not specific to the Mac version, so others of you may want to read that, too, if you haven't tried BMGPX before.)

 

Patty

 

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Expanded ReadMe file for MacBMGPX.

 

This page has some simple instructions for using the bmgpx utility to

convert NGS benchmark datasheets into GPX format. Doing so allows you

to manage them via MacCMConvert, MacGPS Pro and other tools, including

uploading them to your GPS receiver and/or other tools like Cachemate.

 

The original source code for BMGPX can be found on the author's page at:

http://parkrrrr.com/

 

Instructions

 

1. Download the archive from:

http://geocities.com/teamsimo@sbcglobal.net/bmgpx-mac.tar.gz

It's fine to just save this to your Desktop.

 

2. Check the location where you saved the file to see if your Mac

automatically extracted the archive; if so you'll have a directory

named bmgpx and can skip right to step 3. If you don't see the

bmgpx directory, double click on the downloaded file (it should be

named bmgpx.tar.gz). This will create the bmgpx directory/folder.

 

3. You need an NGS datasheet to convert as input to bmgpx. See GETTING

NGS DATASHEETS below for more information.

 

4. Now start Terminal and change into the bmgpx directory. Once

you're at the command prompt, you should be able to type the

following command to get to the directory (assuming you've put the

directory on your Desktop):

 

cd ~/Desktop/bmgpx

 

5. You can now view usage instructions for bmgpx by running this

command at the Terminal command prompt:

 

./bmgpx -h

 

6. Convert your datasheet to a GPX file by running bmgpx with the data-

sheet filename as the first argument and the desired GPX filename

as the second argument. For example, if your input file is "ca085.dat,"

you'd type the following command at the command line:

 

./bmgpx ca085.dat ca085.gpx

 

(You can give the resulting file any name you'd like, as long as it

ends with ".gpx.")

 

After a short delay, you should see the ca085.gpx file in the

bmgpx directory. Note that if the output file already exists, the

old file will be silently overwritten.

 

7. Enjoy! You should now be able to process your GPX file using any

of the familiar tools that handle GPX files, including gpsbabel,

TerraBrowser, MacCMConvert, MacGPS Pro, etc.

 

 

GETTING NGS DATASHEETS

 

You can use any of the searches on the NGS datasheet retrieval page to

get a .dat file; you just need to tweak them to make sure they're in plain

text before you feed the information to BMGPX.

 

For example, here's how you would find all the benchmarks near your house

and make a GPX file of that information.

 

1. Go to http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/datasheet.prl and click on the

DATASHEETS button.

 

2. In the next window, click on Radial Search and enter the coordinates

of your home. (Be sure to enter your coordinates in one of the accepted

formats; NGS does not use the decimal minute format that's customary in

geocaching. If you need to convert your home coordinates, try

http://www.boulter.com/gps or http://www.jeeep.com/details/coord/index.html.)

Type in the radius you want for the search, accept the defaults for Data

Type and Stability, and click Submit.

 

3. When the Station List Results window appears, click Select All and

wait for all the stations to be highlighted, then click Get Datasheets.

 

4. Shortly, a page of results should appear with the datasheets of all

the benchmarks in your area. Use your preferred method of saving this

information as a text (not html) file. For example, in Safari, you can

select all the text, copy it to the Clipboard, then paste it into a text

editor or word processor. In Firefox, you can choose Save Page as Text

File. If you're able to save the information as plain text directly from

your browser, you can skip Step 5 and go directly to converting the file

to a GPX file with BMGPX.

 

5. Open the file in a text editor or word processor. If the text is not

all one size and color (that is, if any of the original bold, headline-

sized, and/or blue text has survived), you'll need to convert everything

to plain text. In TextEdit (the text editor that comes with Mac OS X),

you can do that by using the Make Plain Text command in the Format menu.

In Microsoft Word, save the file as Text Only. You are now ready to convert

the file with BMGPX.

 

NOTE: Whether you save the file directly from your web browser or from a

word processor, give it a simple name with no spaces. UNIX doesn't like

filenames that have spaces, and although there are ways to make it deal

with them, it will be a lot easier for you to not have them in the first

place. If you want a multiword file name, use underscores between the words.

 

You can repeat this same process for any of the other NGS datasheet searches,

including rectangular searches, USGS quads, etc.

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I can't get this to work for anything. The datasheet file will not read, whether it's .txt or .dat.

 

Can anybody help?

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I can't get this to work for anything. The datasheet file will not read, whether it's .txt or .dat.

 

Can anybody help?

"tzipora," what happens when you invoke BMGPX? Does it just display another shell prompt as though it has done something, but there is no resulting GPX file? Or does it give you an actual error message? If the latter, what does it say?

 

Patty

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I can't get this to work for anything. The datasheet file will not read, whether it's .txt or .dat.

 

Can anybody help?

"tzipora," what happens when you invoke BMGPX? Does it just display another shell prompt as though it has done something, but there is no resulting GPX file? Or does it give you an actual error message? If the latter, what does it say?

 

Patty

 

It says it "could not read bench.dat" or "could not read bench.txt" and then gives me another shell prompt.

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It says it "could not read bench.dat" or "could not read bench.txt" and then gives me another shell prompt.

Sorry for the belated reply; I hadn't checked this thread for a while.

 

I wonder whether maybe BMGPX can't find the files. If they aren't in the same directory as BMGPX, you'll need to specify the path to them. Do you know how to do that in UNIX, such as using ".." to go up one directory level or "~/" to specify a path from your home directory?

 

Patty

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Do you know how to do that in UNIX, such as using ".." to go up one directory level or "~/" to specify a path from your home directory?

Ooh, another *NIX geek. :)

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I don't really understand the question. I know just enough to follow directions exactly, but not enough to understand what they mean.

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I don't really understand the question. I know just enough to follow directions exactly, but not enough to understand what they mean.

Here is a mac app that will allow you to choose the file. Once installed, just double click the bmgpx.app and select your file. The resulting .gpx file will be created in the same directory as that of the file you selected.

bmgpx app

 

Brendan

Edited by Team Fawlty
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Ooh, another *NIX geek. :P

Oh yeah, I've been using UNIX shells since the 1980s, long before Apple switched to it.

 

Patty

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Thanks Patty...I'll have to go back now and read up on BMGPX. I had ignored it since I couldn't use it.

 

Andy

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Here is a mac app that will allow you to choose the file. Once installed, just double click the bmgpx.app and select your file. The resulting .gpx file will be created in the same directory as that of the file you selected.

bmgpx app

Brendan, that .dmg gave me a UNIX executable and a Mac OS .app. Double-clicking on the former brings up a Terminal window that hangs. On the latter, it attempts to launch, but then aborts. Do you happen to know the system requirements for the GUI-based app? I get a "Forbidden" error when I attempt to view the main page of www.sheehys.com, so I wasn't able to look for any documentation.

 

Patty

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Here is a mac app that will allow you to choose the file. Once installed, just double click the bmgpx.app and select your file. The resulting .gpx file will be created in the same directory as that of the file you selected.

bmgpx app

Brendan, that .dmg gave me a UNIX executable and a Mac OS .app. Double-clicking on the former brings up a Terminal window that hangs. On the latter, it attempts to launch, but then aborts. Do you happen to know the system requirements for the GUI-based app? I get a "Forbidden" error when I attempt to view the main page of www.sheehys.com, so I wasn't able to look for any documentation.

 

Patty

 

Sorry for the long delay. The app is for intel-based macs. Which version do you have?.

 

Brendan

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The app is for intel-based macs. Which version do you have?.

Which version of what? bmgpx.app is 1.0. Mac OS is 10.4.11.

 

Patty

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I took the question as did you try to run the app on an Intel Mac, or a PPC model.

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I took the question as did you try to run the app on an Intel Mac, or a PPC model.

Oh, maybe so. I tend to think "software" when I see the word "version"! My MacBook has Intel Core Duo processors.

 

Patty

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The app is for intel-based macs. Which version do you have?.

Which version of what? bmgpx.app is 1.0. Mac OS is 10.4.11.

 

Patty

Do you know if it is an intel-based Mac? pre 2007? I will build a version for the older macs.

 

Brendan

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The app is for intel-based macs. Which version do you have?.

Which version of what? bmgpx.app is 1.0. Mac OS is 10.4.11.

 

Patty

Do you know if it is an intel-based Mac? pre 2007? I will build a version for the older macs.

 

Brendan

 

Try this. It has been compiled for PowerPC Macs

bmgpxPPC.app

 

Brendan

Edited by Team Fawlty
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Try this. It has been compiled for PowerPC Macs

bmgpxPPC.app

Is it a Universal app that will also run on Intels, Brendan? If so, I'll give it a try!

 

Patty

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Try this. It has been compiled for PowerPC Macs

bmgpxPPC.app

Is it a Universal app that will also run on Intels, Brendan? If so, I'll give it a try!

 

Patty

This one will work on both.

 

Brendan

Edited by Team Fawlty
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Drat, that one aborts, too. Oh well, it probably doesn't do anything different from the shell program, right?

 

Patty

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Drat, that one aborts, too. Oh well, it probably doesn't do anything different from the shell program, right?

 

Patty

That's odd. It runs on all my macs old or new. You can open it up in Automator and run from there to see what fails. All it does is call the shell program. Does bmgpxPPC or bmgpx work from the command line (Terminal)?

 

Brendan

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Does bmgpxPPC or bmgpx work from the command line (Terminal)?

Terminal is the shell application in Mac OS, so yes.

 

Patty

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